Editor's Picks: Indie Names to Watch

These artists may not make the most radioplay, but something tells me that these artists aren’t sweating. Some of these artists’ have more of a story than a music catalogue, but their stories all suggest a drive which will push them to continue making music. Give them a chance, and lend them your ear; I sure did.

5. Don Destin
Caribbean/Canadian entrepreneur, was inclined to learn violin as a child. Destin decided to learn a very specific method of playing: Suzuki, which focused on tapping into the potential of children in music. I spoke with him about his work and history to learn more:

“One of my most profound memories when I used to study with Suzuki would be the huge Summer camps we would play [with] thousands [of] students and we would all play songs as one violin. It would be all ages from four to 17. I remember feeling a part of something big when we would all play together and make harmony from so many instruments. That really built the musical maturity in me at a young age.”

He hopes, through his cover songs, that he will build a following for future original content. He is slated to release Transcendence, which he says has “smooth, infectious melodies over a hip-hop beat and soft piano.”

4. Michael Lucarelli
As we become wiser with our years, we gain more and more appreciation for the origin of things. Michael Lucarelli has such an appreciation for the origination of music and guitar (his preferred instrument). His most recent release is entitled Renaissance (2014), and focuses on the musical arrangements utilized in the dawning of the guitar era. Much like this period of musical explosion, Lucarelli is prolific and solid in his form. The Tucson Citizen referred to him as “swaggering, smoldering and grippingly sensual,” and the Salt Lake Tribune says he “held his listeners spellbound.”

3. Adam Exler
Tennis player and B.B. King admirer, Exler is a normal fella with an old-school, post-modern jazz fusion to share with the masses. With the voice of a heart-breaker and the knacks of a seasoned veteran, Exler might become a true contender in the years to come. We’re not sure, but Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” may have been written about Exler. Joking aside, his swimmy vocalising transports listeners to the beach or even the West coast, where flip-flops and jam-bands roam. He also has a side project called Everblue, another band with more of a ‘90s influence and jazz-piano bedding. His most recent solo album is entitled Dreamers, which fits his style perfectly.

2. Agoraphobia
My favorite female group of the year would be Agoraphobia, riot grrls from northwestern Spain. Some countries seem to have different trends going on, while the states are converting to overproduced, hi-fi ear-fuzz. I have always admired the decades or trends that other countries pick from our own past (as we pick from theirs), and run with it. This five-piece band is a solid, rugged rock-unit that I need more of. They have a limited amount of music online on their Soundcloud or Facebook page, but this is the kind of band I wish lived on my street, so that I could walk over, hang out with some beers and listen to them jam. They are winners of Vodafone yu Music Talent, and subsequently released their first EP in 2014 entitled Dirty Little Things. I am more than enthralled to have discovered this, although hard to track-down, severely talented band of women who are right up my alley. If I started a band tomorrow, this is what I would want to create.

1. Swell Daze
Speaking of nostalgia, Swell Daze is definitely a band for millenials, who find such pleasure in redefining bygone days. I would like the emphasise that this group deserves my number one spot, hands down. This band could have single-handedly formed the soundtrack to Titan A.E. or Iron Giant. These songs are accessible, but by no means unsophisticated. The rise and fall, and final rise, to each song is a sure-fire pay-off for listeners. While they have a definite style, they have not been left in the dust with technique, polishing their product and innovating vocally. More and more, bands seem to be creating a fusion of genres, and this is another great example. They currently have an album on sale for ten bucks entitled Blackjack. It will fit fine into my collection, how about yours?

I hope that you keep an eye on the aforementioned bands, because they’re going somewhere. Even if they don’t get radio-play, break the Billboard 100, or sell more than 100,000 records; these bands will be influential and inspirational to other people as they have been with myself.


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